Enjoy two fully guided days at some of the world’s most impressive temples near Siem Reap, with in-depth insights into the history of these extraordinary structures and plenty of time at Angkor Wat. Soak up the laid-back feel of Phnom Penh while also seeing the important sights of Phnom Penh on a full-day guided tour – from the glorious Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, to the unforgettably sobering experiences of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek (Killing Fields). This trip maximises your time in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, with an included flight between these two major cities. So there’s no need to worry about a long day of travel. Experience the friendliness of the people who have survived the ravages of a tragic civil war
Cambodia’s Angkor Wat is one of the most prominent attractions in all of South East Asia. Long considered ‘lost’, the ruins of Angkor were never really lost to the Khmers, who have used the monuments as religious sites throughout their history. The site includes the ancient city area of Angkor Thom, with its many carved stone faces standing as silent witnesses to former days of glory, and Ta Prohm, a temple complex slowly being reclaimed by the jungle. Explore vibrant Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, and visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, a sombre reminder of the reign of Pol Pot. The revitalised city is also home to Wat Phnom, as well as the Silver Pagoda that is located in the Royal Palace. Phnom Penh’s waterfront, located near the confluence of the Tonle Sap and the mighty Mekong River, is a hive of activity and a great place to relax.
Independent travel, without the stress. Peregrine’s Independent Journeys are a range of Peregrine’s best-selling group tours, available for 1-4 people. They depart on any day and are accompanied by a Peregrine guide in each location and 24/7 support from the local Peregrine office.
Breakfast Included: 5 Lunches Included: 2 Lunches Included:
Sua s'dei. Welcome to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. You'll be transferred to your hotel – upon arrival you will meet with your local guide who will be collecting your travel Insurance details and next of kin information. If you have free time in the afternoon, perhaps stroll the streets of Phnom Penh and explore the city (take a hotel card with you), taking in the interesting French colonial architecture. The National Museum, with its collection of classic Khmer craftsmanship, is well worth a visit. Your guide can give you suggestions for great local restaurants for dinner, and you may want to have a drink after dinner at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club
Today a full city tour introduces you to the sights of Phnom Penh, a city that lies near the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and shows the rich and diverse history of the country. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are home to King Sihamoni and are closed to the public. You will, however, be able to visit the Silver Pagoda that lies in the palace complex, which is the most sacred temple in the country. Phnom Penh remains a living relic of the country’s past struggles and successes. Your included visits to the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek tell the story of the tragic legacy of the Khmer Rouge. There is an optional visit to Wat Phnom, the temple that gave rise to the foundation of the city in the 15th century. You will have an included lunch at the restaurant run by the Friends International - the organisation and it partners reach out to over 60,000 at risk children, young people, their families and communities each year, supporting them to have a better future through training and work experience. An ideal way to spend your second evening here is to relax in a cafe by the riverfront.
Notes: The restaurant run by the Friends organisation is closed on public and school holidays. Alternative dinner arrangements will be made during these times. The Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are major parts of the experience here, but if you don't wish to visit them, please inform your tour leader.
Fly north to Siem Reap (approximately 40 minutes) where the great temples of Angkor await. Later you head out of town to a working Monastery to learn more about the life of a Monk and Theravada Buddhism. Buddhism in Cambodia is a way of life that most people incorporate into their daily life. You will get to meet the Monks, enjoy a sacred water blessing for good luck and prosperity and see the fascinating Pagoda art at this temple. On the way back into town you will visit Angkor Children’s Hospital Friends Centre to learn more about the hospital’s activities. The Friends Centre features rotating art and photography exhibitions as well as the work of founder Kenro Izu.
Notes: You will be unaccompanied on the flight but will be met by a transfer to take you to your Siem Reap hotel.
Siem Reap - Angkor Wat
Spend a full day visiting the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided exploration. Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure, and the only one of Angkor's temples that has its entrance facing west – the others face east. Then there is Angkor Thom, the 'Great Royal City', a temple is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone. Of all the temples visited today, Bayon temple is the centrepiece, with over 200 smiling carved faces and more than 50 gothic towers. For lunch you'll visit the Sala Bai Hotel School where underprivileged local youths learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry. Here you can enjoy a meal prepared by students at the school. After lunch you will head to the Ta Prohm temple, which has large trees embedded in the stone foundations of the structure – a powerful symbol of nature. End the day with a sunset view of the temples: an extraordinary way to see the sun go down.
Notes: The Sala Bai Hotel School is closed on public and school holidays, so on these days an alternative restaurant will be used.
Embrace a very early start today if you wish to experience a sunrise visit to the Angkor complex (this is optional). Later continue onto Banteay Srei. You'll see it's not a huge temple, but thanks to its intricate stone carvings it is sometimes referred to as ‘the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art’. At this point you can either head back to your hotel or carry on exploring more temples, such as Preah Khan. This temple contains a maze of vaulted corridors and is another complex that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle. Your ticket for the Angkor ruins also lets you spend more time exploring this site. Otherwise you might like to take a free afternoon to explore the town. If you have time, perhaps indulge in a traditional Khmer massage. Perhaps cap off your final night with a Khmer dinner.
Your Cambodia Discovery comes to an end after breakfast this morning.